Monday, October 22, 2007


While cruising the web I've searched for an Orange County Slow Food convivia and finally hit gold! I sent them an e-mail and received a reply with a potluck invitation to boot! This was my lucky day!! Bring your best "Fall Harvest" side dish, they'll provide the sausages and great company. I'm in....

I head back to the Internet to find a recipe describing itself as 'authentically' German, and found Zwiebelkuchen (Onion Pie). I decide to cook a pie on Saturday to make sure it's 'worthy'. I figured if it wasn't a success, the chances of my teenage sons devouring it were pretty good. Saturday's pie was beautiful. The crust was substantial and was more 'biscuit like' than standard crust. Better to hold the caramelized onions and bacon I think!

Onion Pie
Title: Zwiebelkuchen
Servings: 8

1 pk Yeast; Active Dry
1 t Sugar
1 1/2 t Salt
3 c Unbleached Flour
1 T Shortening
1 c Water; 120 to 130 Degrees F.
6 Bacon; Slices, Cut Up
2 Onions; Medium, Sliced
1/4 t Cumin
1/2 t Salt
Pepper; As Desired
1 Egg Yolk
1 c Sour Cream

Mix yeast, sugar, 1 t salt, and 1/2 cup flour. Blend in shortening and warm water. Beat for 2 minutes. Add enough flour to make a soft dough.
Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a
lightly greased bowl. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place 1/2 hour.
Pat dough into a lightly greased 12-inch pizza pan or onto a lightly
greased baking sheet. Press up edges to make a slight rim.

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from grease and drain on absorbent paper. Add onions to bacon grease; cook slowly until tender and caramelized.

Sprinkle onion,bacon, cumin, 1/2 t salt and pepper over dough. Bake at 400 Degrees F.for 20 minutes.

Brush crust with little yolk & water.Blend egg yolk and sour cream. Pour over onions. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until golden brown and sour cream is set.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Yum! We're good to go for Sunday!

I duplicate my success on Sunday, or so I thought! My pie looked beautiful, but since I cooked it earlier in the morning and refrigerated it, I re-heated it for 30 min @ 300 degrees. The result, a crust too hard to cut. The topping was delicious, but I needed the 2 glasses of wine I had just to cut through it! Don't you love wine?! Note to self, next time, don't re-heat, or consider a puff pastry crust. Hmmm....puff pastry sounds good. Next time!

As I gathered my empty dish and I said my good byes, I was grateful for a wonderful evening under the stars in beautiful Laguna Beach with such a welcoming & gracious group of people. It's not hard to live well. Connect with people that are passionate about food, drink and life. They'll show you how. Does it get any better??? Thank you!

Let's eat!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cocktail anyone?

A good cocktail and something wonderful to eat. I'm challenged to think of anything better. My favorite mixology blogger Natalie, over at The Liquid Muse has something fun going...Mixology Monday's, or Mix Mo. She and her mixologist friends are taking turns hosting this new Monday event (who better than Natalie, right??)and this Monday it's all her.

First off, let me come clean with my lack of experience of what cocktail pairs best with what dish….I just know what I like. Is that a crime??

My favorite food/meal/cocktail pairing is an easy one. I like my cocktails straighforward, my food reliable. That makes it easy...a big bone in ribeye, (medium rare), lobster mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus with lemon and butter, followed by a good single malt scotch.

Let’s just say that’s my favorite way to ‘get down to business”’. ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Elephant Delicatessen- Portland

With most of my business travel over, I can now start back to posting. And I'm behind! Mike and I visited Elephant Delicatessen in Portland about 2 months ago and I have to say it's shaping up to be a favorite. I love the small food stations, that can accommodate whatever my taste may be for the day. Brick oven pizza, soothing soups, unique and classic sandwiches, pasta, coffee and yes....even cocktails! Place your order directly with the chef at each respective station then keep an eye out to pick it up. Not only is the food great, but the store is an epicureans dream to browse.The wine selection, the cases of prepared food & the deli case are screaming "come see".

The cheese case if phenomenal! Yes... I am a cheese hound. Andrew, the General Manager can be found behind the counter and is more than happy to to share his love for good food with samples from their case.The meats are all right there...making it easy (or hard) to pick what you'll be taking home!

I'm a staunch believer in good food. Be careful not to confuse this with expensive food. I mean fresh, high quality, simple and flavorful. Can it be expensive? You bet, but then wouldn't it be nicer to have a little bit of the best rather than a lot of mediocre? A little bit of the best, now that's living!

After my browsing, Mike and I were ready to order. Mike went for the Fish and Chips while I chose the Croque Monsieur sandwich with a side or their wild mushroom soup.Delish!

The baked goods, including breads are amazing. Their simple (but obviously delicious) Cowboy Cookies seem to be Mike's favorite.

With a menu that gives you choices like the Willamette Valley Salad with mixed greens, Oregon hazelnuts, bleu cheese, crispy Northwest apple slices & grapes, tossed with Elephants Own raspberry vinaigrette dressing or Picnic baskets and cheese trays to go, and catering to boot there's no excuse not to enjoy fine food.
You gotta go!

Elephant Delicatessen
115 NW 22nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97210

Sunday, October 07, 2007


It's hard to believe last weekend I was in Hawaii. It was for our National Toyota Dealer Meeting in Waikiki. Toyota goes all out, great food (sushi as far as the eye can see) along with prime rib and lamb chops and the cocktails are flowing. We get a big name M.C. and entertainment each year. This year the Jay Leno M.C.'d it then we we treated to a concert with Stevie Nicks opening for Aerosmith. Good times but lets get back to the food!

I asked the concierge at the hotel for suggestions on a local plate lunch joint. He said the only place to send me was to The Rainbow Drive-in.
I got the combo plate...rice, mac salad (YUM!), bbq beef, fish & pork. I did not leave hungry! Hawaiian macaroni salad is my favorite. Real mayo and plenty of it. I know it may sound gross, but it tastes soooo good when it touches your lips!

After lunch I explored a little and discovered another local favorite, Leonards. It's a bakery that serves the donut of Hawaii, Masaladas. Although I don't like the taste of sweets, I love to look!

Great local places, beautiful weather, awesome eats.

Please forgive me on this not to descriptive post...traveling and spare time do not go together. Looking forward to being home for a while and getting back into the swing of things.

Eat up!